If you are at a crossroads and in need of a new career path, first off remind yourself not to settle because of fear. Yes, it is not easy charging into the unknown but you are much more capable than you probably realise and use this opportunity to find a rewarding career, not just a job that pays your bills (even though this is critical).
The more specialised and dedicated the path you choose, the higher your overall income potential will be. Time to think long-term.
Nursing is not something non-caring people do. Everyone who becomes a nurse has a passion for helping people often in their worst, most vulnerable states. Nurses witness and experience the immediate impact of their work every day; being able to see the difference one makes in their day-to-day jobs is rare in corporate environments.
Hospitals are constantly short-staffed and invest heavily into attracting and retaining the best nurses, which means competitive salaries. The demand is expected to outstripping the supply so you will be constantly in demand (now that’s what you call job security!). Nurses are also highly respected and influential in driving the internal operations and strategic direction (nurses have a lot of say in choosing the software vendors, for instance).
While being a nurse is pretty demanding, you still can expect flexible work schedule. Since you sign up for ‘shifts,’ you can pick shifts that best suit your needs, especially if you have children. In addition, with a nursing degree, you will be able to explore all existing specialities – your learning opportunities will be truly limitless.
How Do I Become a Nurse?
You need to have completed 3-year Bachelor in Nursing to become a registered nurse (RN). Many older adults have joined the program later in their careers and excelled. Today there are online programs, night schools, and accelerated courses available to help you complete your training in a flexible way.
You do not need a Masters to have a decorated career in this field; but once again, thinking long-term, you might want to invest in getting an advanced degree. It’ll help you accelerate your specialisation and move up the ladder.
Not only that, your earning potential more than doubles once you have a Masters in Nursing (MSN). The average salary range goes from between $42K and $81K to $62K to $196K.
What Makes a Successful Nurse?
Having the right certifications and knowledge aside, your ability to communicate and demonstrate empathy both verbally and nonverbally is critical. Emotional strength is key as you will be dealing with people in pain and since you will often be in a high-pressure environment. Keeping calm is actually a tangible skill set to possess for future and training nurses.
Organisational skills come in handy as well. You are juggling multiple timelines, patient needs, and logistics so you need to be able to create scenarios in your head (which is a skill you will learn quickly on the job) and execute on it quickly.
Being a nurse makes you deal with a much wider range of life experiences and situations than most of the world. If that’s something you would cherish, studying nursing may be a worthy investment to kick-off a lifelong dedication to the betterment of human existence.
Check out this story about a busy single mum from New York and her honest take on her life post her newfound profession as a nurse.